Pete (or, in Thai, Tossapis) Pholtosa is working around the clock in the former Big Wong location, on 6th Ave. and Indian School, painting, tiling, decorating, and all around renovating the restaurant he is making his own: Thai E-San. When we walked in, he was grouting the floor.
The name, in Thai, means Northeastern Thai -- i.e. the region of Thailand from which Pholtosa hails -- and the food will reflect the same. His menu will include regional specialties like a papaya salad with crab, thai e-san sausage, beef salad with sticky rice, and soups and curries galore. It's all straight from his hometown, in the Nakhoyn Phanom province of Thailand, and will be another in a line of Thai restaurants that seem to be popping up all over the Valley.
Pholtosa is the former owner of Siam, the Thai restaurant on 51st Ave. and Northern in Glendale, but he sold it two years ago. Now, he says, he's bringing back his old team from Siam to help him open his newest project. Thai E-San is set to open on August 15, Pholtosa says, though he only started renovating on June 4 (he remembers the exact date because it was his birthday).
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Now, he's busy shopping for ingredients and renovating everyday. He's determined to use only fresh vegetables, herbs, meats and fishes, Pholtosa says. Stop by and say "hi" -- he'll show you the new, industrial-sized sink he's putting in the kitchen.